Spread over three levels in a quirky city terrace, Small Bar was, as the name might suggest, one of the first small bars in Sydney after the drinking revolution of the same name which swept the city. The rear of the bar overlooks a paved pedestrian laneway with both a downstairs bar and a bar on the main level. It feels more like a university sharehouse than a bar, and there’s always enough space to nab a cosy armchair or squashy lounge to sit on with a mate or two (no more) and a glass of plonk. Wander up the narrow wooden staircases to the upper levels to net one of the coveted stools on the balconies that overlooks Sussex Lane, or head out to the laneway if the weather’s fine. As one of the few character bars near Sydney’s business district, the place is most lively during the post-working day drink rush, where ‘tude free city workers converge to swig artisanal beer like Beez Neez or Mountain Goat Steam Ale. There’s a great little selection of wines, too, and plates to share like antipasto, skewers and ploughman’s lunch. Call ahead to reserve one of the laneway tables.